Members of Parliament clash in debate over whether or not to ban GOP presidential frontrunner from U.K.
Britain’s lawmakers debated on Monday whether the government should ban Donald Trump from entering the U.K., taking sharp jabs at the GOP frontrunner for president at every opportunity.
The lively debate came in response to a petition signed by more than 570,000 Britons demanding that the government block the business mogul from setting foot on their shores.
The petition was launched last month by Scottish freelance journalist and activist Suzanne Kelly in response to Trump’s proposed ban on Muslims entering the U.S. following the terror attacks in Paris and San Bernadino, California, last year.
Prime Minister David Cameron has denounced Trump’s remarks as “divisive, stupid and wrong,” but made it clear he does not think Trump should be banned. British law, however, requires Parliament to debate any petition that garners more than 100,000 signatures.
Members of Parliament also debated a counter-petition that calls for Trump not to be banned from the country.
Trump has already threatened to withhold a $1 billion investment in Scotland if he is banned from entering the U.K.
No actual vote was taken, with politicians treating the debate session as an opportunity to express their grievances against the business mogul.
Still, it was wildly entertaining. Here are some of the most memorable moments from the debate:
Trump mocked right out of the gate
It’s clear that many in the British government aren’t fans of Trump.
“The election of his own party leader has shown that remarkable things happen in politics,” said conservative former minister Andrew Murrison. “So we have to be alive to the possibility that this ridiculous individual, that is Mr. Trump, may be elected as President of the United States. In that event would such a ban be overturned?”
The question drew laughter from the room.
Attacking Trump could make him even more popular
Labour MP Paul Flynn warned members of Parliament that attacking Trump could bestow him a “halo of martyrdom.”
“People have said debating this is a mistake,” he said. “But Parliament cannot ignore a petition signed by more than half a million people. The public should have a say in what is debated in Parliament.”
Educating The Donald
Flynn urged Trump to come to the U.K. so he can identify the so-called “no-go” British areas, referring to Trump’s controversial claim that parts of the country are too dangerous for police to enter because of growing Islamist extremism. Flynn noted that he doesn’t know where these places are.
Chuckles could be heard in the chamber.
Trump is not only ridiculous, he’s “stupid” and “repellent” too
The British, ever so polite, take a swipe at Trump even when defending him. Paul Scully, a conservative, reminds people that just because Trump is not the sharpest tool in the shed, that’s no reason to ban him from the country.
“I’ve heard a number of cases where people were excluded [from entering the country] for incitement, for hatred,” Scully said. “I’ve never heard of one for stupidity. I’m not sure we should be starting now.”
Another MP added that “some of the things that people find repellent about this individual is he’s not only racist, but he’s homophobic and misogynistic as well.”
Trump reads Adolf Hitler’s “Mein Kampf”
Gavin Robinson, a Democratic Unionist party MP, said Trump is a “ridiculous xenophobe” who incited the birther campaign against President Obama in 2008, adding that when the real estate mogul got divorced some time ago, his first wife said that he used to stay up at night reading Adolf Hitler’s “Mein Kampf.”
According to a 1990 Vanity Fair interview, Ivana Trump told her lawyer that her husband kept a book of Hitler’s speeches near his bed.
He then called Trump a “buffoon.” But insisted he opposes the ban.
“Bring him here,” said Robinson. “Let us have the opportunity to challenge him and let him go home with his tail between his legs.”
The line drew a “hear, hear” from the room.
Trump is what the British would call a “Wazzok”
Victoria Atkins, a conservative MP, said Trump is “bonkers” and that her constituents would brand him a “Wazzok,” British slang for idiot (we had to look it up).
Trump is helping ISIS
Jack Dromey, a Labour MP, said the business mogul has the right to be a fool, but he has no right to be a “dangerous fool.”
Dromey argued that Trump’s rhetoric is helping ISIS radicalize the vulnerable.
“In the current febrile climate ISIS needs Donald Trump and Donald Trump needs ISIS,” he said, adding that Trump should not be allowed within 1,000 miles of the county’s border.
MP says debate on Trump ban is “embarrassing”
Conservative MP Adam Holloway warned that even having a debate on whether or not to ban Trump makes Britain look “intolerant” and “totalitarian.”
“This motion is actually embarrassing to the U.K.,” Holloway said. “I feel we should almost apologize to the people of the United States. It’s for them to decide on Mr. Trump’s views, not us.”
Scottish MP apologizes for Trump’s Scottish ancestry
Scottish MP Anne McLaughlin blasted Trump for his hypocrisy, noting that he is himself the son of a Scottish immigrant.
“The Mexican migrants that Trump so roundly defamed are engaged in the same quest as his forebears,” she said, adding, “I don’t believe appealing to fear and prejudice is the language of